Chapter 16 Employment Relations in Some Asia Pacific Countries

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Australia
‡ Workplace Relations Act (1996) ‡ - employers and employees directly responsible for IR decision ‡ - reduce role of third party intervention ‡ - guide AIRC on the award system that determines pay and conditions
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Australian Workplace Agreement
‡ Individual agreement between employers and their employees ‡ Agreement may be reached collectively, but must be signed individually ‡ Employees may appoint a bargaining agent (e.g. union) but no uninvited union involvement ‡ AIRC may help parties to reach agreement
Prof. Rushen Chahal

CHINA
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Economic reforms in the late 1970s ER institutions restored (ACFTU in 1978) 1980s: 3 new systems - labour contract - floating wage - management engagement

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Tripartite System
National level - Ministry of Labour - Chinese Enterprise Directors¶ Assn - ACFTU (representing workers) Similar arrangements at province, county and city levels
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Role of Trade Unions
‡ Under Trade Union Law ‡ - protect rights and interests of workers In SOEs, workers¶ congresses are the main bodies representing workers at the enterprise level

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Labour Law
‡ Law was introduced in 1995 17 employment regulations dealing with: - minimum wage, work hours, inspection, compensation, safety, training etc Workers may conclude collective contract with enterprise on employment issues
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Dispute Settlement
‡ Rules on Handling Enterprises Labour Disputes System includes procedures for: ‡ - mediation ‡ - arbitration ‡ - judicial settlement
Prof. Rushen Chahal

HONG KONG
‡ Has autonomy under ³one country two systems´ arrangement ‡ - retain laws from British legal system Employment relations characterized by - non-intervention government policy

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Employment Ordinance
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Deal with issues: - employment contract - payment of wages - rest days, holidays, annual leave - sick pay, maternity leave and protection - long service pay, severance pay - job security - union discrimination
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Dispute Settlement
Settled under Labour Tribunal Ordinance - quick, inexpensive and informal to settle claims arising from Individual contrracts Minor Employment Adjudication Board deals with minor claims ± less legalistic than Tribunal
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Trade Union Ordinance
Covers issues: - trade union registration - procedure for merger & acquisition - members¶ rights and freedom - picketing and other industrial action

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Labour Relations Ordinance
Prescribes procedure for third party intervention in disputes e.g. conciliation and arbitration If dispute affects HK economy, livelihood of people, creates public risk, Chief Executive can declare a cooling-off period

Prof. Rushen Chahal

INDIA
Many labour laws at central and state levels 5 categories a) Working conditions b) Wages and monetary benefits c) Industrial relations d) Social security e) Miscellaneous
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Trade Unions
Started after World War I - e.g. All India Trade Union Congress - At local, state and national levels INTUC formed in 1947 - Influenced by Gandhian ideals of truth, nonviolence, purity of means and dignity of labour - to counter communist influence of AITUC
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Trade Unions Act
‡ Provides for registration of unions, but no provision at national level for the recognition of unions by employers - Most unions are small, financially weak and supported by political parties - Many unions with one company, resulting in rivalry and are ineffective

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Employer Organisations
‡ 3-tier structure - Llocal associations - Industrial associations - All-India federations

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Major National Organizations
A) All India Organization of Industrial Employers (AIEO)
founded by Federation of India Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi

B) Employers Federation of India (EFI)
founded by Associated Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai

C) Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE)
set up by central public enterprises in New Delhi
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Council of Indian Employers
‡ Loose federated umbrella organization - formed by the 3 major national associations - deals with government & international organizations (eg ILO)

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Employer Organization - Role
‡ Protect interests of members ‡ Provide information on labour laws ‡ Encourage harmony in employment relations system

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Attitude Towards Union
Traditional employers - paternalistic, hostile towards unions Companies with modern management - Accept unions as partners in employment relations system

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Role of Government
‡ Enact employment laws to ensure harmony between employers & unions ‡ Provide legal and administration mechanism for collective bargaining and for settling disputes

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Industrial Dispute Act
‡ Provides legal means (conciliation, arbitration and adjudication) to settle disputes ‡ National Arbitration Board strengthens system of voluntary arbitration ‡ 3-tier adjudication system: Labour Courts, Industrial Tribunal and National Tribunals

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Collective Bargaining
‡ Confrontation process as there is no legal provision at the national level to recognise unions ‡ Process becomes difficult as there are many unions within same company ‡ Unions are weak and fragmented ‡ Unequal strength results in hostility during negotiation
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Union Recognition
No national law for union recognition Legal provisions in some states Methods to determine union representation: a) Code of discipline b) Secret ballot c) Check-off system d) Membership verification
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Other Employment Laws
A) B) C) D) E) F) Employment Exchanges Act Factories Act Equal Remuneration Act Employees State Insurance Act Payment of Gratuity Act Payment of Bonus Act

Prof. Rushen Chahal

JAPAN
Employment relations: - Life time employment - seniority based system Dismissal is seldom done because employer must have good reasons

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Reasons for Dismissal
‡ Financial problems ‡ Documenting steps taken to avoid dismissal ‡ Objective and clear dismissal standards ‡ Reasons must be explained to workers to seek their consent

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Labour Standards Act
Regulates working conditions - labourers¶ charter - wages - work hours - minimum labour standards Employers must up work rules and explain to employees
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Trade Union Act
Workers have right to form and join union Union may negotiate contract with employer

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Enterprises Union
‡ Common in Japan ‡ Effectiveness depends on corporate culture within the company ‡ There must be mutual interest and company identity among employees

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Spring Struggle (Shunto)
‡ Unique feature in Japanese employment relations started in 1955 ‡ Annual wage increase drive conducted by unions from March to May ‡ Sets pattern of pay and benefit increase

Prof. Rushen Chahal

Dispute Settlement
‡ Under Labour Relations Adjustment Law, unions and management should first settle disputes between themselves ‡ If settlement fails, they can ask for support from Labour Commission or seek arbitration

Prof. Rushen Chahal

SOUTH KOREA
‡ 1996, Presidential Commission on Industrial Relations Reform was set up ‡ Purpose: improve labour standards up to the level required by ILO and OECD

Prof. Rushen Chahal

New Employment Laws
‡ Trade Union Act and Labour Dispute Adjustment Act were merged to become Trade Union and Labour Relations Adjustment Act ‡ ban on third party invention was lifted ‡ employers not obliged to pay wages during strike ‡ Mediation is compulsory before any industrial action is taken
Prof. Rushen Chahal

Other Employment Laws
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Labour Standards Act Industrial Safety and Health Act Minimum Wage Act Equal Employment Act Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act Employee Welfare Fund Act Aged Employment Promotion Act Employment Insurance Act
Prof. Rushen Chahal